Fact Check: Spanish High Court Did NOT 'Confirm' That COVID-19 Does Not Exist

Fact Check

  • by: Alexis Tereszcuk
Fact Check: Spanish High Court Did NOT 'Confirm' That COVID-19 Does Not Exist Didn't Say It

Did Spain's high court confirm that COVID-19 does not exist? No, that's not true: The Spanish Ministry of Health was not taken to court, there was no hearing and the "proof" offered is an informational reply letter the government issued to the public to answer a question from a COVID-denier group. The government agency does NOT say that the virus has not been isolated -- it has been isolated -- they stated that they do not have laboratories where they can perform the tests but other Spanish laboratories have isolated the virus.

The claim appeared as an article (archived here) where it was published by the vicgeorge.net website on October 10, 2021, under the title "SPANISH HIGH COURT CONFIRMS THAT COVID-19 DOES NOT EXIST". It opened:

Spain is the 9th country to take the health minister to court, asking for PROOF that the COVID-19 virus exists. However, all health ministers FAILED to come up with the evidence because the virus DOES NOT EXIST.

This is what the article looked like on October 18, 2021:

Screenshot 2021-10-15 at 17.30.12.png

(Source: vicgeorge.net screenshot taken on Fri Oct 15 17:30:12 2021 UTC)

The article is based on a 10-minute video posted by Charlie Ward, a conspiracy theorist who peddled false information about Joe Biden's 2021 inauguration, which Lead Stories previously debunked here.

He claims a court document proves that the Spanish Ministry of Health was taken to court and admitted that its laboratories were not able to provide a SARS-CoV-2 virus sample because the virus does not exist.

The claims in the article and in Ward's video are false. The Spanish Ministry of Health was not taken to court and did not fail to appear in court either. Ward is referring to a letter that was released as a request for public information by the Ministry of Health to the COVID-denying Liberum Association and Biologists for Truth. The letter can be found here (archived here) and is signed by the general director of Public Health, Pilar Aparicio Azcarraga, and not a judge nor a court official. The COVID-denying organizations asked for a sample of the isolated SARS-CoV-2 virus to do an independent test.

This is standard government protocol in Spain -- public entities are able to ask a question and the agency responds via public letter. The Ministry of Health response said that the agency did not have the necessary facilities or laboratories to conduct SARS-CoV-2 isolation. It did not say that COVID-19 does not exist.

A Spanish fact-checking website published an article that refuted the claims that COVID-19 does not exist because the Ministry of Health does not have isolated samples of the virus. The article was titled, SARS-CoV-2 has been isolated by scientists in biosafety laboratories and not in the Ministry of Health itself. It noted:

The Ministry of Science confirms to Newtral.es that the coronavirus has been isolated in its attached centers. "SARS-CoV-2 has been isolated and cultivated at the National Microbiology Center of the Carlos III Health Institute (CNM-ISCIII). Also, the National Center for Biotechnology of the CSIC has different isolated viruses or samples for a large part of the variants that have appeared," they explain from the ministry."

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Lead Stories is working with the CoronaVirusFacts/DatosCoronaVirus Alliance, a coalition of more than 100 fact-checkers who are fighting misinformation related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about the alliance here.

  Alexis Tereszcuk

Alexis Tereszcuk is a writer and fact checker at Lead Stories and an award-winning journalist who spent over a decade breaking hard news and celebrity scoop with RadarOnline and Us Weekly.

As the Entertainment Editor, she investigated Hollywood stories and conducted interviews with A-list celebrities and reality stars.  

Alexis’ crime reporting earned her spots as a contributor on the Nancy Grace show, CNN, Fox News and Entertainment Tonight, among others.

Read more about or contact Alexis Tereszcuk

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